How to keep the Folder Pane expanded in Outlook

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
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Outlook’s Folder Pane on the left of its window displays all your folders in its expanded view. Users can also minimize that pane so it doesn’t display folders.

When users expand that Folder Pane again from the minimized view, however, it doesn’t stay expanded when users click outside it. Thus, some users might wonder how they can get the expanded Folder Pane view to stick after minimizing it.

How do I keep Outlook’s Folder Pane expanded?

1. Adjust the Folder Pane setting

  1. You can restore the default expanded Folder Pane by adjusting the Folder Pane setting. To do that, select the View tab.
  2. Press the Folder Pane button shown directly below.Folder Pane button outlook how to keep folder pane expanded
  3. Then select the Normal option.

2. Click the pin button

Alternatively, users can click a pushpin button at the top right of the Folder Pane. Expand the minimized Folder Pane by clicking the arrow button (>) at the top of it.

Then click the pushpin button in the snapshot directly below. Thereafter, the Folder Pane will remain expanded when you click out it.

The minimized Folder Pane outlook how to keep folder pane expanded

3. Set up a VBA macro that automatically expands folders when Outlook starts

  1. To ensure all folders in the Folder Pane are fully expanded when you open Outlook, set up a VBA macro that opens all collapsed folders when the application starts. Open Outlook’s Visual Basic for Applications window with the Alt + F11 hotkey.
  2. Click Project1 on the left of the window.
  3. Expand Microsoft Outlook Objects and double-click ThisOutlookSession to open a code window.
    A VBA code window outlook how to keep folder pane expanded
  4. Select and copy this VBA code with the Ctrl + C hotkey:
    Private Sub Application_Startup()
    End SubPrivate Sub ExpandAllFolders()
    On Error Resume Next
    Dim Ns As Outlook.NameSpace
    Dim Folders As Outlook.Folders
    Dim CurrF As Outlook.MAPIFolder
    Dim F As Outlook.MAPIFolder
    Dim ExpandDefaultStoreOnly As BooleanExpandDefaultStoreOnly = FalseSet Ns = Application.GetNamespace(“Mapi”)
    Set CurrF = Application.ActiveExplorer.CurrentFolderIf ExpandDefaultStoreOnly = True Then
    Set F = Ns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderInbox)
    Set F = F.Parent
    Set Folders = F.Folders
    LoopFolders Folders, True

    LoopFolders Ns.Folders, True
    End If

    Set Application.ActiveExplorer.CurrentFolder = CurrF
    End Sub

    Private Sub LoopFolders(Folders As Outlook.Folders, _
    ByVal bRecursive As Boolean _
    Dim F As Outlook.MAPIFolder

    For Each F In Folders
    Set Application.ActiveExplorer.CurrentFolder = F

    If bRecursive Then
    If F.Folders.Count Then
    LoopFolders F.Folders, bRecursive
    End If
    End If
    End Sub

  5. Paste that macro into the code window with the Ctrl + V hotkey.
  6. Click File and save the macro. Thereafter, the macro will automatically open collapsed folders in the Folder Pane when you launch Outlook.

So, that’s how you can keep the Folder Pane expanded in Outlook. The VBA macro will also ensure that the Folder Pane’s folders are fully expanded when you start Outlook.

If you have other questions or suggestions, reach for the comment section below.


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